HHS calls for easing restrictions on marijuana, sending cannabis stocks higher


James Romano trims flowers while working at CommCans’ processing facility in Medway (MA) on October 27, 2021. Under the trimmed flowers is a tray that collects shake, cannabis flower which has been naturally degraded by handling. Boston Globe

Marijuana, which is classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act has no accepted medical uses and high abuse potential. The industry has also been barred from accessing most banking services, or being traded across state lines, resulting in a glut of cannabis in many states and a drop in prices. Shares of marijuana companies such as

Canopy growth

Tilray brands

Cronos group

jumped Wednesday after the news. Bloomberg first reported the recommendation.A DEA spokesperson said that HHS requested marijuana be reclassified under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule III substance in a letter to DEA officials. Schedule III is defined as drugs with a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.The DEA, which regulates controlled substances, has the final authority to reschedule marijuana. A spokesperson for the DEA said that the agency would now begin a review of marijuana. A congressional bill called the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, or SAFE, would lift such restrictions but hasn’t made it through the Senate, despite passing in the House several times.Patrick Rea, managing director at cannabis investment firm Poseidon Garden Ventures, said his fund is “cautiously optimistic” for the changes a reclassification could bring to the industry.“Certainly moving cannabis off of Schedule 1 is the right decision and long overdue,” Rea said in a statement. Rea said that moving cannabis off of Schedule 1 is the right decision and long overdue. “